Model evaluation of RIMPUFF within complex terrain using an Ar-41 radiological dataset

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The newly updated atmospheric dispersion model RIMPUFF is evaluated using routine releases of 41Ar from the former HIFAR research reactor located at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney, Australia. Predicting radiological dispersion for emergency response at this site proves challenging due to complex topographical conditions including a steep-sided river valley located between the reactor and the nearest residents. A large number of 41Ar measurements from a network of environmental gamma detectors are used to evaluate the model under a range of atmospheric stability conditions. Topographic and meteorological influences that potentially affect a released plume, such as channelling, wind shear, local terrain slope flows and strong inversions are explored. A sensitivity analysis using various combinations of meteorological station data for model input, including vertical wind and temperature profiles, also identifies model strengths and weaknesses within the complex terrain. Various model evaluation tools, such as relevant statistical indices and gamma dose contour plots, are used to evaluate this new version of RIMPUFF for emergency response purposes at ANSTO and for inclusion in the ARGOS Decision Support System.
Dispersions, Radiological dispersal devices, Complex terrain, Accidents, Radiation detectors, Pollution, ANSTO, New South Wales, Australia
Dyer, L. L. & Astrup, P. (2010) Model evaluation of RIMPUFF within complex terrain using an Ar-41 radiological dataset. Paper presented at HARMO13 - 1-4 June 2010, Paris, France, 13th Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Disperson Modelling for Regulatory Purposes.